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Keywords:

  • fatty acids;
  • nucleotide-binding oligomerization domain proteins;
  • toll-like receptors

Chronic inflammation is known to promote the development of many chronic diseases. Pattern recognition receptors (PRRs), Toll-like receptors (TLRs), and nucleotide-binding oligomerization domain proteins (NODs) mediate both infection-induced inflammation and sterile inflammation by recognizing pathogen- associated molecular patterns and endogenous molecules, respectively. PRR-mediated inflammation is an important determinant in altering the risk of many chronic diseases. Saturated fatty acids (SFAs) can activate PRRs, leading to enhanced expression of pro-inflammatory target gene products. However, n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) inhibit agonist-induced activation of PRRs. These results suggest that SFAs and n-3 PUFAs can reciprocally modulate PRR-mediated inflammation, and that PRRs and their downstream signaling components are molecular targets for dietary strategies to reduce chronic inflammation and subsequent risk of chronic diseases. This advancement in knowledge provides a new paradigm for understanding the mechanism by which different dietary fatty acids modify risk of chronic diseases including insulin resistance, atherosclerosis, and cancer.